Classification: Pan-Galactic power source and maximum security prison
Location: The Crunch Energy Cascade in the "Verge Galaxy" (allegedly located at "the edge of the universe")
Creator: Unrevealed. Even Galactus does not know of the Kyln architect
User/Possessors: A pan-galactic consortium of common interest parties including all seven of the primary pan-galactic law enforcement agencies, Omega Core
Gladiator (Kallark), Moloka Dar,
Peter Quill (Star-Lord),
unidentified Badoon, and
many hundreds of others
Creche prisoners: Aegis of All Sorrows, Antiphon the Overseer, the Fallen One, the Maker (Kosmos), Skreet, Tenebrous of the Darkness Between
Guards: Omega Core (approximately 3,000 members, including Cole, Kika, and Swad)
First Appearance: Thanos I#7 (May, 2004)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Kyln were several (at least seven) truly gargantuan power-generating units on the very edge of the universe, drawing and harnessing power from the expanding universe itself. Their energy was used by thousands of planets and civilizations. The Kyln also served as prisons for the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy. Lastly, they were also pilgrimage sites for a certain religion due to their proximity to the edge of the universe.
Instead of large numbers of guards, the Kyln kept track of its inmates with self-replicating nano-sentinels which were either injected directly into the prisoners' circulatory systems or implanted subcutaneously (in species whose bodily systems lacked liquid). If the Kyln artificial intelligence monitors detected deviant behavior, these interior wardens could paralyze or even kill the inmates involved.
(Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Omega Core entry) - The Kyln "Moons" were massive, interconnected spheres which were (allegedly) created at the time of the positive-matter universe's Creation Event by an architect whose identity is unknown even to Galactus.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS/Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - Long ago ("when the universe was young"), the cosmic beings known as Proemial Gods split into two factions, those who wished to continue as caretakers of the living universe and those, led by Diableri of Chaos, who sought to remake the universe in their own image. Most of the Proemial Gods died in this civil war, and Diableri would have won except he brought the war to Galactus who slew him. Instead of killing Diableri's two remaining followers, Tenebrous of the Darkness Between and Aegis of All Sorrows, Galactus chose to imprison them and he altered the Kyln so that some of the energy derived from the Crunch would be used to bind them for all time.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some later point, under circumstances which have not yet been revealed, Antiphon the Overseer, the only one of the Proemial Gods who had remained neutral in their civil war, was also imprisoned within the Kyln. Neither the reason for his imprisonment nor the identity of the being who imprisoned him has been revealed.
(Annihilation: Prologue#1: Xandar Worldmind Nova Corps Database: The Kyln at the Crunch entry) - Millennia ago, the Kyln were discovered by a group of aliens who founded the order of Clerics whose members have performed Kyln maintenance out of religious duty ever since. The Clerics were secretive about the origins and the truth about what was below the surface of the Kyln spheres.
(Annihilation: Prologue#1 (fb) - BTS/Thanos I#7 (fb)) - At some point, it was realized that the Kyln could also serve as maximum security, death sentence exclusive prisons for the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy. Over time, the interested parties who maintained the Kyln grew to become a pan-galactic consortium which included all seven of the primary pan-galactic law enforcement agencies and a consensus majority of secondary system local enforcement cells who joined by subscription. The life expectancy of a Kyln inmate was less than three years (pan-galactic standard time) due to a Kyln maintenance mortality rating of 99.999 percent. Additionally, any attempt, perceived or actual, to disrupt basal Kyln function would result in the immediate termination of the disruptive influence(s).
A peacekeeping pan-galactic force known as Omega Core was established to help deliver criminals to the Kyln Maximum Security Prison and to assist Kyln Clerics.
The Kyln's proximity to the Crunch caused them to become pilgrimage sites. However, the Kyln consortium, its affiliates and subordinate entities attached no theological import nor any other significant meaning to the Crunch past the obvious fact of its existence.
(Annihilation: Prologue#1 (fb) - BTS) - In modern times, more than two hundred planetary systems were dependant on the power generated by the Kyln.
(Thanos I#11 (fb)/Thanos I#12 (fb)) - After the renegade former Herald of Galactus known as the Fallen One attacked the planet Avaleen-4, Star-Lord managed to capture the Fallen One but caused collateral damage of 350,000 casualties while doing so. Both Star-Lord and The Fallen One were sent to the Kyln where the Fallen One was contained in a "creche," a cocoon like structure powered directly by the expanding universe to insure that he would not escape.
(Thanos I#8(fb)/Thanos I#9 (fb)) - At various points in time, Ch'ak, Moloka Dar, Mynx, Skreet, and an unidentified Badoon came to be inmates at the Kyln. However, of those, only Skreet ended up in a creche.
(Thanos I#10 (fb)) - The Shi'ar Imperial Guard captured a powerful but insane entity known as the Maker (formerly Kosmos and the Beyonder) after she killed all of the more than 64,000 residents of the Shi'ar agricultural settlement Eru 7. After being convicted of her crimes, the Maker was sent to the Kyln and placed in a creche. When it was belatedly discovered that the Maker was the Cubeling known as Kosmos in mortal form, Gladiator was sent in undercover as an inmate of the Kyln as well in order to be close to the Maker so that he could determine if it would be possible to kill her.
(Thanos I#8 (fb)) - The Maker awoke from her catatonia and shut down the nano-sentinels in the blood of the prisoners. The prisoners took over the Kyln, with some throwing themselves behind the Maker and some refusing to follow her.
(Thanos I#7) - Thanos went to the Kyln to meditate on his new and undetermined role in life while gazing at the edge of the universe. There, he was met by Lady Death who tried to convince Thanos to love her again.
(Thanos I#8) - Thanos met a rival faction (including Gladiator and former Star-Lord Peter Quill) that opposed the Maker and they explained the situation to him. They explained how the Maker had woken up and put the power in the hands of the inmates who then formed rival factions to oppose each other. After learning that the Maker had previously been the Beyonder, Thanos agreed to fight against the Maker and went to see her.
(Thanos I#9) - While Thanos' newfound allies questioned the wisdom of having anything to do with the Mad Titan, Thanos himself ran into the followers of the Maker. The Maker showed up, became upset by things that Thanos said and caused a massive explosion, destroying a good portion of the Kyln as well as shutting down power to much of it, while simultaneously shrinking several of her followers to fit in her palm.
(Thanos I#10) - While Gladiator explained to Star-Lord how he and the Maker came to be at the Kyln, Thanos, who had survived the Maker's attack, went looking for her. He found her and they fought once again, this time with Thanos winning and shutting down the Maker's mind. The Omega Core reactivated the nano-techs in the prisoners' blood soon thereafter and restored order.
(Thanos I#11) - Thanos went to the Creches and saw that the Fallen One had escaped during the period of time when the power was out due to the Maker's attack.
(Drax the Destroyer#1) - A prison transport ship en route to the Kyln underwent a systems failure and crashed on Earth, enabling Paibok, Lunatik, Drax the Destroyer, and the Blood Brothers to gain their freedom.
(Drax the Destroyer#4) - Rather than face the justice of Drax the Destroyer, Paibok activated an emergency beacon that alerted the intergalactic police to his whereabouts. Another prison ship then came to pick him up, and he was presumably transported to the Kyln as originally intended.
(Annihilation: Prologue#1/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files: Omega Core + Aegis & Tenebrous entries/Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS) <Annihilation Day> - An immense, unbelievably quick, and incredibly powerful army of starships (later identified as the Annihilation Wave led by Annihilus) punched through the Crunch Energy Cascade into its paired positive matter universe from the Negative Zone and immediately attacked the primary Kyln array, tearing the Moons from their gravitational moorings and causing them to collide with one another, resulting in massive casualties among both inmates and Omega Core officers. The destruction of the Kyln in which they had been contained for so long freed both Aegis and Tenebrous from their Creches.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Maker was one of the many killed in the destruction, freeing the Beyonder essence which had been contained within the living prison of her mortal body. What happened to the Beyonder essence after it was freed has not yet been revealed.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)- BTS) - Antiphon the Overseer, being the weakest of the Proemial Gods, was also killed when the Kyln were reduced to rubble.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3) <Annihilation Day, plus 20> - Aegis and Tenebrous investigated the debris of the Kyln Moons. While doing so, they sensed the nearby presence of an extension of Galactus' essence and Tenebrous quickly captured the Fallen One (who had been sent to the Kyln to find the Beyonder). When questioned, the Fallen One stated that he served Thanos of Titan and that he had not served as herald to Galactus for centuries. The Fallen One then revealed that it had been "countless millennia" since the Creation Event. Tenebrous and Aegis then drained the Fallen One of all he knew and claimed him as their servant.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2) <Annihilation Day, plus 281> - Concerned that they might be the last of the Proemial Gods, Aegis and Tenebrous traveled back to the Kyln rubble to see if Galactus had imprisoned any of their brethren. Their search found only the dead body of Antiphon the Overseer, and they speculated that Galactus may have imprisoned Antiphon if he had come to embrace the ambition of Diableri. The duo were then tracked down by the Silver Surfer, who had been sent to find them so that Galactus could end the threat that they posed to the universe. The Surfer tried to keep them from leaving so that Galactus could render judgment but he soon suffered mortal wounds at their hands. In desperation, the Surfer channeled the energies of the Crunch, the energies which had birthed the Proemial Gods, creating a wave that engulfed both Aegis and Tenebrous, consigning them to Oblivion as they were consumed by the energies that were their very essence.
When Galactus arrived seconds later, he was amazed that his herald had accomplished the inconceivable by destroying beings who were so much more powerful than himself. In recognition of his service, Galactus restored the dying Silver Surfer to life and health.
Comments: Created by Keith Giffen, Ron Lim, and Al Milgrom
Although the prison ship which came to Earth to pick up Paibok may have meant to transport him to the Kyln, there is no evidence that he actually reached that destination. For one thing, in Annihilation Prologue#1, the last panel on page 13 shows Paibok, wearing prison yellow, looking out a window as Drax and Cammi disembark from Prison Convoy Dredge 02 after the Nova Corps lockdown (triggered by the Kyln crisis) trapped them at the Xandar Spaceport. Also, Paibok was later revealed to be one of the positive-matter warriors who had been implanted with parasites which forced them to fight as part of the Annihilation Wave forces. While Paibok could have been captured amongst the rubble that had been the Kylns, it seems just as likely that he was recovered from the debris of the Xandar Cluster. We'll have to wait for some future story to clarify exactly how and where Paibok fell under the control of the Annihilation Wave.
Location, location, location
As created by writer Keith Giffen, the Kyln array is said to be located "at the edge of the universe" near the Crunch Cascade which is described as being "the constantly expanding edge of the positive-matter universe." It was also described as being "the boundary of (our) universe" which meant that anything that passed through it "came from beyond (our) universe." This is a very imaginative concept and I applaud Mr. Giffen for coming up with it. Unfortunately, it is also totally NONSENSICAL!!!
First, according to scientists, there is no evidence that the universe has an edge so, as far as we know, it could actually be infinite in size (Or not). And even if the universe does have an edge, it would have to be somewhere further than astronomers can see, beyond the edge of the observable universe. And since modern technology enables us to see more than 10 BILLION LIGHT-YEARS in every direction, it seems safe to say that Earth is nowhere near this (possibly-non-existent) edge.
Second, since its first appearance, the planet Xandar (later the Xandar Cluster) has always existed within the Andromeda Galaxy which is part of the same Local Group of galaxies as our Milky Way Galaxy. So, for a story to state that the Xandar Cluster was located in "Verge System 001, 25 star systems away" from the Crunch Energy Cascade at "the edge of the universe" is MASSIVELY inconsistent with all previous stories. This could only be possible if the Nova Corps had somehow relocated their home planet over 10 BILLION LIGHT-YEARS from its previous position within the Andromeda Galaxy. And the idea that any peace-keeping force would move its headquarters to a location that was SO VERY FAR AWAY from the sentient beings whom they were pledged to protect is, once again, NONSENSICAL!
Third, if the Kyln really were located at the edge of the universe (in the Tercius Prime system [Verge System 026] within the Verge Galaxy) and that edge was over 10 billion light-years away from the Local Group, then how could the Annihilation Wave have reached its targets in the Skrull Empire as quickly as it did? Annihilation: Prologue#1 established that, following the devastation of the Kyln Array on "Annihilation Day" and the destruction of the Nova Corps on "Annihilation Day, plus 7," two entire Skrull systems had been taken down by the Harvester of Worlds by "Annihilation Day, plus 12." Unless the Annihilation Wave was capable of travelling at LUDICROUS SPEED (like in the movie "Spaceballs"), this idea simply DOESN'T WORK!
Fourth, in all available images of the Kyln the spheres are seen with the Crunch Energy Cascade behind them but with a starfield at the edge of the cascade. However, if the Kyln were truly located at the edge of the universe, then any observer close enough to see them should see ONLY the white (or colors) of the Crunch Energy Cascade as a vast, unending wall behind the spheres. Since this is NOT what was consistently depicted, that suggests that the Kyln CANNOT be at the edge of the universe and neither can the energy cascade to which they were attached. It's also worth noting that in every distant view what can be seen of the Crunch Cascade has a curved edge, as if it were spherical, like the Kyln moons. This also suggests that the cascade has a limited volume and is not the infinite surface that the true edge of the universe would be expected to be.
So, with these problems arising from the idea that the Kyln were at the edge of the universe, where else could they have been located?
A few years after the Kyln and the Crunch Energy Cascade had been introduced, Marvel published Annihilation Saga#1 (July, 2007) which summarized the events depicted in the various Annihilation mini-series while placing those events in the proper chronological order. The text in that issue described the Crunch as being "the region from which all space expands" that was located "at the center of the universe." The text also stated that the positive-matter universe "expands from the Crunch." This seems to be a very significant revision of Keith Giffen's original concept, and I can only assume that this relocation of the Crunch from the edge of the universe to its center was meant to explain away the four major problems (listed above) that being "at the edge" caused for the entire storyline. This is not a bad solution since it takes advantage of the fact that an edge, as a line at which something begins or ends, can be a boundary between two realities and not, as originally intended, the verge between reality and nothingness. I'm a bit wary of the idea that "the center of the universe" is actually now supposed to be so close (relatively speaking) to Xandar and the Andromeda Galaxy (and thus to Earth) but that uncomfortably geocentric idea is a small price to pay for eliminating what I saw as being the major underlying weakness of the Annihilation storyline.
This redefinition of the Crunch continued in the following year when, in Nova IV#8-9 (January-February, 2008), writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning introduced readers to Knowhere, the severed head of an ancient Celestial which was also described as being on "the very edge of the universe." As part of the set-up for their new location, the writers included a flashback scene in which Peter Quill tried to explain the structure of the universe to Rich Rider. According to Quill, the universe was like a sombrero. At the center there is a lump, called the Crunch, which is a hyper-dense convergence of ALL energy and matter. And it was from that singular point that Creation (all the galaxies, all the stars, everything) stretched out in all directions. Theoretically, the brim of the sombrero was "an event line called the Rip...where all space and time and matter and energy runs out" and beyond which there was nothing. This concept was just a theory to Quill because no one had ever been to the edge since it was an impossible distance away. It was only much later, thanks to a desperate attempt to escape from the Phalanx force shell that surrounded the Kree galaxy, that Nova (Rider) and the Worldmind computer in his head created a hyper-gravimetric wormhole that inadvertently took them to the Rip, a zone where space-time was collapsing and the laws of physics no longer applied, where they discovered Knowhere.
So, now we readers have two very different locations which are BOTH the "edge of the universe." The Rip is at the outermost reaches of the universe, the brink where all space and time and matter and energy runs out and beyond which there was nothing, while the Crunch is at the center of the universe but is also an edge because it is a boundary between two realities, the positive-matter Universe-616 and the antimatter dimension known as the Negative Zone. This distinction works for me but, as far as I know, this concept has not yet been officially incorporated into Marvel continuity. Another thing that has never been explained was how the Annihilation Wave fleet was able to enter the positive-matter universe without exploding. We can assume that the Crunch alters the polarity of any objects or people who pass through it, just as the Distortion Area does, so that they can exist in the other dimension without harm but so far this has never been specifically established, at least not in any story which I've read.
Various online sources have differing descriptions of the
Crunch Energy Cascade:
1. The article on the Kyln at the Marvel Database wiki refers to the Crunch as being a "galactic barrier" but also mentions that "Presumably, the Kyln draws energy from the interaction of matter and anti-matter along the border of the Crunch." This suggests that whoever wrote this article is aware of the Negative Zone connection but hasn't fully integrated it into the article.
2. The article on the Crunch Cascade (location) on the Comic Vine website states that "At the edge of our positive-matter universe exists an energy source of unimaginable power. This edge is ever expanding, slowly encroaching on the Negative Zone universe." The article mentions that "the Annihilation Wave entered the positive-matter universe through the Crunch" and ends by stating that "the Crunch...continues to expand into the Negative Zone."
3. The articles on Aegis and Tenebrous at Wikipedia both describe the Crunch as being "the barrier that separates the universe from the Negative Zone." However, the Wikipedia article on the Negative Zone doesn't mention the Crunch at all.
All in all, a definitive and "official" statement as to what the Crunch Cascade is and where exactly in the universe it is located would be appreciated.
How old were the Kyln?
According to the Xandar Worldmind Nova Corps Database, the Kyln Moons were "constructed at the time of this (positive-matter) universe's Creation Event." However, this idea is a bit problematic since most of the matter which existed in the early universe was either hydrogen or helium. Heavier elements did not exist until they were created through various natural methods of nucleosynthesis, processes which require that lighter elements exist within stars where they fuse together to form heavier elements which are later ejected into space, sometimes through supernovas. So, if heavier elements did not exist in the universe until the first (and second?) generation stars had lived out their lives and died in explosions, it follows that the Kyln could not have been constructed at the time of the Creation Event. Instead, the earliest point at which they could have been constructed would have been a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
Of course, there are ways around this problem. It may be that this unidentified "Architect" actually transmuted some of the existing hydrogen and helium into the materials which were needed to build the Kyln. Alternatively, the Kyln creator(s) could have acquired the needed material from someplace other than the early universe, like from an otherdimensional reality or maybe even from some future time period. However, since there's no in-story data available we can only speculate about how (and when) the Kyln might actually have been created.
Additionally, the fact that Galactus doesn't know who built the Kyln doesn't prove that it is anywhere near as old as the universe. After all, even though Galactus has existed since before the Big Bang that created this universe, he actually spent most of that time in an inactive state within his re-created starship. It was not until after his starship crashed on a planet whose primitive life forms were being observed by the Watcher Ecce that Galactus began to awaken. It is this connection to the Watchers that significantly limits how long Galactus could have been active since the Watchers, despite being an ancient race, are not as old as the Elders of the Universe who have been alive for 5.5 billion years. Therefore, if Ecce must be younger than 5.5 billion years and his observation of the nascent Galactus cannot have taken place before his birth, then Galactus can only have first become active in the universe less than 5.5 billion years ago.
It should also be noted that the most recent version of the origin of Galactus has Sciencemaster Galan of Taa as the leader of the Scienceers of the Sixth Infinity, the last beings of their universe, who had decided that, since their universe was ending, they wanted to die while seeking the Final Answer of what lies outside of all space and time. The fact that there is no mention of any Watcher in this origin may mean that Galactus could have been active for much longer than previous versions of his origin would have allowed. Then again, this revision may only apply to the current "reborn" universe.
Clarifications: No known connection to:
Ch'ak came to be an inmate of the Kyln under unknown circumstances. He was among the group who opposed the Maker and was present as they explained to Thanos the threat posed by the Maker.
He appeared to be made of rock and probably had super strength. He presumably died during the destruction of the Kyln.
Note: During a verbal confrontation, the Badoon member of the group called Ch'ak "splice-born." Since gene splicing is a technique used in genetic engineering, this insult could indicate that Ch'ak was an artificially-created living being. For his part, Ch'ak had a low opinion of the Badoon tendency to place greater value on things which served the common good, something he referred to as "Badoon common-think."
--Thanos I#8 (9, 10, 11)
The Cleric showed Thanos around the Kyln when he first arrived, asking him to be on his best behavior as well as informing him of the several purposes of the Kyln. He also brought Thanos to the group whom opposed the Maker and introduced him to them. Before long, Mynx, a follower of the Maker, attacked the Cleric for assisting the enemies of the Maker. The Cleric was wounded by her and cut many times. Later on, Thanos found the Cleric and healed him, and then instructed him to lead Thanos to the Maker. Thanos and the Cleric came upon a group of the Maker's followers, and then before long the Maker herself showed up.
He was killed in the destruction of the Kyln.
--Thanos I#7 (8, 9, Annihilation: Prologue#1
Moloka Dar came to be an inmate of the Kyln under unknown circumstances. He joined up with the group that opposed the Maker. He found Thanos and explained to him how there were nano-techs in the blood of the prisoners. He also explained that there were those that followed the Maker and those that didn't. He brought Thanos to the Cleric and left as the Cleric escorted the Titan to more of the prisoners opposing the Maker.
Moloka Dar questioned the wisdom of involving Thanos in their affairs but was present when Gladiator thanked Thanos for defeating the Maker. He presumably died in the destruction of the Kyln.
Mynx came to be an inmate of the Kyln under unknown circumstances. She joined the group that supported and believed in the Maker. When she saw the Cleric introduce Thanos to the group that opposed the Maker, she attacked the Cleric, cutting a message for Thanos into his chest as well as cutting his face and breaking his knee. Later on, Mynx and other supporters of the Maker ran into Thanos and the Cleric, whom Thanos had healed. However, Mynx knew that they were nothing before Thanos, and agreed to grant him safe passage to wherever he wanted. But then the Maker showed up and caused a massive explosion, and shrunk Mynx and many others down to a very small size, probably about a half inch tall. Mynx was found by Skreet, whom carried Mynx around as a pet for a short while until the Star-Lord found her and turned her back to normal. She presumably died in the destruction of the Kyln.
Mynx had several feline attributes and probably an enhanced senses of vision and smell. She was a fierce fighter and had sharp claws.
Thanos I#8 (9, 10, 11)
This unidentified Badoon came to be an inmate of the Kyln under unknown circumstances. He joined up with the group that opposed the Maker. He was present when his group explained the threat of the Maker to Thanos. He also read Thanos' aura and discovered that Thanos was in a state of altered awareness and that his actions would benefit them. He presumably died in the destruction of the Kyln.
He had the ability to read auras.
Note: This Badoon had a low opinion of Ch'ar, whom he referred to as "splice-born," apparently an insult directed at beings who are the product of genetic engineering. For his part, Ch'ak had a similarly-low opinion of the Badoon tendency to place greater value on things which served the common good, something he referred to as "Badoon common-think."
--Thanos I#8 (11
images: (without ads)
(Kyln) Annihilation Prologue#1, page 2, panel 1
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2, pg. 9, panel 1
(Ch'ak) Thanos I#8 page 20, panel 3
(Cleric) Thanos I#7 page, 16 panel 4
(Moloka Dar) Thanos I#8 page, 10 panel 4
(Mynx) Thanos I#8 page 14, panel 4
(Unidentified Badoon) Thanos I#8 page 20, panel 3
Last updated: 10/06/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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